Existing Home Sales Decline As Sale Price Soars

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Existing Home Sales Decline As Sale Price Soars. In May, existing home sales experienced a decline, while median existing home prices surged to an all-time high, as reported by the National Association of Realtors This Week in Real Estate. This outcome was in line with expectations, reflecting market conditions and activities observed in April. Notably, pending sales decreased, and interest rates rose throughout April. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fluctuated between 6.8% and 7.2% during April, starting at approximately 6.8% early in the month and reaching around 7.17% by month-end. However, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined for the third consecutive week, reaching its lowest level since early April. Despite three consecutive months of declining U.S. home sales, existing home prices hit record monthly highs in each of the first five months of 2024. Below are a few newsworthy events from the third week of June that influence our business:   
EXISTING-HOME SALES EDGED LOWER BY 0.7% IN MAY AS MEDIAN SALES PRICE REACHED RECORD. Existing-home sales slightly declined in May as the median sales price climbed to a record high. Total existing-home sales retreated 0.7% from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.11 million in May. Year-over-year, sales waned 2.8% (down from 4.23 million in May 2023). The median existing-home price for all housing types in May was $419,300, the highest price ever recorded and an increase of 5.8% from one year ago ($396,500). Single-family home sales declined to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.71 million in May, down 0.8% from 3.74 million in April and 2.1% from the prior year. The median existing single-family home price was $424,500 in May, up 5.7% from May 2023. The inventory of unsold existing homes grew 6.7% from the previous month to 1.28 million at the end of May, or the equivalent of 3.7 months’ supply at the current monthly sales pace. Read the full story here.
MORTGAGE RATES FALL TO THEIR LOWEST LEVEL IN ALMOST THREE MONTHS. Mortgage rates fell this week to their lowest level since early April. The standard 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.87% in the week ending June 20, mortgage financing giant Freddie Mac reported Thursday. That’s down from last week’s 6.95% average and marks the third consecutive weekly decline. “Mortgage rates fell for the third straight week following signs of cooling inflation and market expectations of a future Federal Reserve rate cut,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.  Read the full story here.
HOUSING STARTS RETREAT IN MAY. Overall housing starts fell 5.5% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.28 million units, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. The May reading of 1.28 million starts is the number of housing units builders would begin if development kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts decreased 5.2% to a 982,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate. However, on a year-to-date basis, single-family starts are up 18.8%. Overall permits decreased 3.8% to a 1.39-million-unit annualized rate in May. Single-family permits decreased 2.9% to a 949,000-unit rate; this is the lowest pace since June 2023. Read the full story here.

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